During my senior year at Kent State, a professor prompted my PR Campaigns class to write letters to our future selves. The letters touched on many subjects, ranging from lessons learned in college to our dream jobs. We sealed up the letters with a promise that they’d be mailed to us in one year.

I received my letter to my “future self” several weeks ago, and I couldn’t help but smile at my ramblings. It’s crazy to truly realize how much can change in one year. And believe me: I would have never guessed that my career would take me down this path.

After a short stint in state government, I am leaving the public sector and beginning an awesome opportunity as a marketing/public relations/social media chick for a Columbus-based graphic/retail design firm.

I am incredibly blessed by the people I’ve met and the lessons I learned while working in state government. I had the opportunity to write content for some VIPs and work on a few once-in-a-career projects that will help companies create and retain jobs for thousands of Ohioans. But for many personal and political reasons, I’m pressing on and am ready to begin this new adventure.

So in honor of the letter I wrote to my “future self” on Dec. 16, 2009, I would like to offer a few words of wisdom to my “college self”:

Dear College Self:

Here are a few things you’ll need to know as you transition into post-grad life:

  • Always see change as an opportunity. Don’t be afraid of jumping into the uncomfortable.
  • When you’re offered a salary for your first big-girl job, don’t get too giddy about those five digits. Please remember that your paycheck will dwindle thanks to a little thing called “taxes.” Retirement and health care expenses will eat at your shoe/Starbucks/new couch fund, too. Welcome to reality.
  • Even after four years of case studies, campaigns and news releases, you know absolutely nothing. These skills are merely tools. Use them to survive in the real world.
  • Don’t be afraid to involve yourself in projects that don’t fit your typical job description. Every task is an opportunity to learn, making you a stronger public relations/marketing professional in the long run.
  • Office politics exist everywhere. Avoid becoming involved in them at all costs.
  • Always stay true to yourself, and stand your ground.
  • Constantly strive to build and strengthen your network. You’ll be amazed at the role it will play as you begin searching for jobs.
  • The more you learn, the more you’ll realize you don’t know much of anything.

Sincerely,

Your Future Self

So if you had to write a letter to your college self, what would you say?

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